Making 60k/Part Time Law School

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Derivlaw
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Currently work 60k job/Part-Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:14 pm

Hello everyone,

I have an undergrad in finance and economics, and I've been working for a financial regulatory firm for the past two years. My salary is 60k, and my job has great hours. My position involves working with futures, options, swaps financial regulation, so I've strongly considered making the next step towards becoming an attorney specializing in financials/capital markets. This could include being a counsel for a federal financial regulator (CFTC or SEC) or BigLaw.

However, given the horrific nature of the legal market, I don't think it would be wise of me to quit my job and attend law school (even if I get accepted into a top school). The market, coupled with the opportunity costs is pretty daunting. Thus, I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on attending part-time law school. I have my sights set on getting into Fordham Law part-time (since it's a decent program), which would allow me to keep my job and attend school. The main worry I have about this route is the enormous amount of work part-time law school appears to be, and the difficulty in participating in journal, etc which helps get these jobs. Don't get me wrong, I'm a hard worker, but I also don't want to kill myself for 4 years. Do you guys think this path would be worthwhile even under the probability that I don't make top quarter of my class. At the end of the day, I want to advance my career, and I have a strong interest in the financial regulatory world. I feel like lawyers play a big role in the process (civil suits, government policy, financial litigation, etc.)

Thanks for your help. Please provide me all of your thoughts.

Derivlaw
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:28 pm

Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:18 pm

Hello everyone,

I have an undergrad in finance and economics, and I've been working for a financial regulatory firm for the past two years. My salary is 60k, and my job has great hours. My position involves working with futures, options, swaps financial regulation, so I've strongly considered making the next step towards becoming an attorney specializing in financials/capital markets. This could include being a counsel for a federal financial regulator (CFTC or SEC) or BigLaw.

However, given the horrific nature of the legal market, I don't think it would be wise of me to quit my job and attend law school (even if I get accepted into a top school). The market, coupled with the opportunity costs is pretty daunting. Thus, I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on attending part-time law school. I have my sights set on getting into Fordham Law part-time (since it's a decent program), which would allow me to keep my job and attend school. The main worry I have about this route is the enormous amount of work part-time law school appears to be, and the difficulty in participating in journal, etc which helps get these jobs. Don't get me wrong, I'm a hard worker, but I also don't want to kill myself for 4 years. Do you guys think this path would be worthwhile even under the probability that I don't make top quarter of my class. At the end of the day, I want to advance my career, and I have a strong interest in the financial regulatory world. I feel like lawyers play a big role in the process (civil suits, government policy, financial litigation, etc.)

Thanks for your help. Please provide me all of your thoughts.

Derivlaw
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:28 pm

Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:19 pm

Hello everyone,

I have an undergrad in finance and economics, and I've been working for a financial regulatory firm for the past two years. My salary is 60k, and my job has great hours. My position involves working with futures, options, swaps financial regulation, so I've strongly considered making the next step towards becoming an attorney specializing in financials/capital markets. This could include being a counsel for a federal financial regulator (CFTC or SEC) or BigLaw.

However, given the horrific nature of the legal market, I don't think it would be wise of me to quit my job and attend law school (even if I get accepted into a top school). The market, coupled with the opportunity costs is pretty daunting. Thus, I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on attending part-time law school. I have my sights set on getting into Fordham Law part-time (since it's a decent program), which would allow me to keep my job and attend school. The main worry I have about this route is the enormous amount of work part-time law school appears to be, and the difficulty in participating in journal, etc which helps get these jobs. Don't get me wrong, I'm a hard worker, but I also don't want to kill myself for 4 years. Do you guys think this path would be worthwhile even under the probability that I don't make top quarter of my class. At the end of the day, I want to advance my career, and I have a strong interest in the financial regulatory world. I feel like lawyers play a big role in the process (civil suits, government policy, financial litigation, etc.)

Thanks for your help. Please provide me all of your thoughts.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Currently work 60k job/Part-Time Law School

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:25 pm

Id keep the job unless you're willing to attend a T13 on scholarship FT. The jobs you want are too competitive for a part time fordham program. The PT route would only be recommended on your situation if you are going back to work at the same firm at higher pay/title.

What is your GPA? Have you sat for the LSAT?

Derivlaw
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Re: Currently work 60k job/Part-Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:28 pm

Hey,

Currently studying for the LSAT. Undergrad GPA was 3.66.

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twenty
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby twenty » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:00 am

Fordham law part time is not worth the 120k+ that school costs in order to keep your job. If you want to go to law school, go all in: best law school you can at the lowest cost you can.

Otherwise, figure something else out. :/

EDIT> If there's a part time law program in NYC that you can do instead of Fordham that would give you a full scholarship, I might do that.

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052220151
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby 052220151 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:58 am

Derivlaw wrote:Hello everyone,

I have an undergrad in finance and economics, and I've been working for a financial regulatory firm for the past two years. My salary is 60k, and my job has great hours. My position involves working with futures, options, swaps financial regulation, so I've strongly considered making the next step towards becoming an attorney specializing in financials/capital markets. This could include being a counsel for a federal financial regulator (CFTC or SEC) or BigLaw.

However, given the horrific nature of the legal market, I don't think it would be wise of me to quit my job and attend law school (even if I get accepted into a top school). The market, coupled with the opportunity costs is pretty daunting. Thus, I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on attending part-time law school. I have my sights set on getting into Fordham Law part-time (since it's a decent program), which would allow me to keep my job and attend school. The main worry I have about this route is the enormous amount of work part-time law school appears to be, and the difficulty in participating in journal, etc which helps get these jobs. Don't get me wrong, I'm a hard worker, but I also don't want to kill myself for 4 years. Do you guys think this path would be worthwhile even under the probability that I don't make top quarter of my class. At the end of the day, I want to advance my career, and I have a strong interest in the financial regulatory world. I feel like lawyers play a big role in the process (civil suits, government policy, financial litigation, etc.)

Thanks for your help. Please provide me all of your thoughts.


I'd go all in or not at all. Your work experience seems like it would be valuable when it comes time to getting a job. Study hard for the lsat and go to Columbia or NYU (assuming you want to stay in NYC). I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't half ass two things, you should full ass one thing.

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Reinhardt
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Reinhardt » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:02 am

Need LSAT and GPA to advise. Fordham PT is much worse than Yale FT.

c3pO4
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:05 am

this seems solid -- you keep advancing your career while doing law school. but what happens when you need to take 6 weeks off to work at a law firm in the summer assuming you do well gradewise? also, are you really willing/interested in starting at the bottom rung of a new industry? the myth that lawyers make lots of money is just that. your odds of making 200k+ salary in law is the same as it is in your current industry if you stick with it and advance. only question is, do you like what you do or do you have some burning desire to risk it all in order to practice law?

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thewaves
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby thewaves » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:44 am

You seem to be hedging, so why even go to law school? Work more, figure out what you want to do, go to business school.

Derivlaw
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:54 am

I work for a private sector regulatory organization if that means anything (think FINRA). As far as my interests go, I want to eventually be involved in a key part of the financial regulatory process, whether that is representing clients or working for a regulator. That is why I am looking at the JD.

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paglababa
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby paglababa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:13 am

I live in NYC and make 62k, so I'm in a similar position as you too. I'm a 0L so take my words as only that. But here are my thoughts:

Is money important to you? Do you like law? Would you be happy being a lawyer if you were starting off at a similar pay to what you would have had anyway? It sounds like you are equally happy not doing law work...

That being said, I do WANT to go to law school full time. My reasoning for this:

1. I'm tired of my industry and don't love my line of work.

2. I'm looking for big law. Anything else would not make the oppurtunity cost worth it. Thats 180k+ of salary missed out in three years, not to mention work experience, which would presumably mean you would be at higher position at the end of those three years.

3. You have to consider COA. Do you plan on paying for fordham? That's a lot of debt you will need years to repay. I'm looking to go to law school with substantial scholarship money or not at all (exception: HYS). AKA study for the lsat for months and months.

3. Don't know how parttime law school can help with #2. Might be good to look at stats of people who get employed from PT programs. If you're below 50% at fordham, my understanding is that you will have a tough time.

Derivlaw
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 am

My line of work is a combination of law and finance as I'm involved in regulating large financial institutions and I have to frequently interpret legal clause. However, at the same time, I don't know if I like the "law" as I've never worked a legal job. My main motivation for attending law school is that I believe lawyers are involved on the upper end of the financial regulatory spectrum. Whether that means working in BigLaw, being a Chief Compliance Officer, working for the government, etc. Money is mildly important to me from the perspective that if I attend school, I would expect a positive ROI. If there is a way I can achieve that without a JD, I'm open for possibilities. I'm not sure if the MBA would suffice.

The fact that so many attorneys (w/ bar passage) are applying for my position has made me very skeptical in attending law school full-time. Yea, you can call it a hedge, but that's why I'm considering part time law school. If I attend part-time, my debt load would be prob 100k (some tuition reimbursement). If I attend full-time, my debt load would be 200k+3 years of opportunity costs.

Thoughts?

Ti Malice
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Re: Currently work 60k job/Part-Time Law School

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 am

jbagelboy wrote:Id keep the job unless you're willing to attend a T13 on scholarship FT. The jobs you want are too competitive for a part time fordham program. The PT route would only be recommended on your situation if you are going back to work at the same firm at higher pay/title.


Strongly agree with the above. You would need to do well at YHS and a have luck on your side to get the government jobs you want. They're simply not happening from Fordham. BigLaw is also unlikely. If you don't make top quarter or close to it, you'll have spent a huge sum of money -- and/or taken out a ton of high-interest loans -- for nothing. BigLaw has always been unstable employment on an individual level (roughly half of associates are pushed out within three or four years), but it's now ever more precarious as a business model as well. And if you managed to beat the odds, you would be trading great hours for a very different life-work balance, as you're no doubt aware.

Just out of curiosity, what are your prospects for advancement in your current position? Even if you say none, I'm strongly inclined to tell you to keep your current job over attending law school, assuming you have good reason to believe that your employment is stable. I would only leave it, or consider leaving it, for YHS or a very large scholarship at a T13. As to those possibilities, Y and S are out due to GPA, and you'll need a 176+ to have a fighting at H. Furthermore, your GPA means that a full-ride or very large scholarship from the T13 is unlikely. But I wouldn't give up your current job for anything less.

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paglababa
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby paglababa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:44 am

I see. Need GPA and LSAT to advise.

Derivlaw
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Derivlaw » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:53 am

3.66/ LSAT unknown

c3pO4
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:43 pm

paglababa wrote:I live in NYC and make 62k, so I'm in a similar position as you too. I'm a 0L so take my words as only that. But here are my thoughts:

Is money important to you? Do you like law? Would you be happy being a lawyer if you were starting off at a similar pay to what you would have had anyway? It sounds like you are equally happy not doing law work...

That being said, I do WANT to go to law school full time. My reasoning for this:

1. I'm tired of my industry and don't love my line of work.

2. I'm looking for big law. Anything else would not make the oppurtunity cost worth it. Thats 180k+ of salary missed out in three years, not to mention work experience, which would presumably mean you would be at higher position at the end of those three years.

3. You have to consider COA. Do you plan on paying for fordham? That's a lot of debt you will need years to repay. I'm looking to go to law school with substantial scholarship money or not at all (exception: HYS). AKA study for the lsat for months and months.

3. Don't know how parttime law school can help with #2. Might be good to look at stats of people who get employed from PT programs. If you're below 50% at fordham, my understanding is that you will have a tough time.



you are wrong about the money. just so you know. by the time you get pushed out of biglaw (this is almost guaranteed to happen), you will break even on your law school tuition. then your salary will go back to the standard corporate salary that you would have earned anyway at your current job in the next 5-10 years. biglaw just means you make 160-200k for 3-5 years and then get pushed out, and make 100-150k like everyone else. the extra money in your short time at biglaw (assuming you even get a biglaw job, which is already highly unlikely and even at the best schools only near a coin flip) will just go towards paying off your loan balance. if you are "tired of your industry" you will definitely be tired of law as well. nobody loves biglaw. seriously, if you have a good career in today's america and are young with little debt, going to law school is the worst thing you can do. HTH.

many of my friends out of college were making 60k when i went to law school. 3 years later, they all make six figures now and laugh at the thought of law school. don't throw a good thing away. the grass is not greener.

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sinfiery
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby sinfiery » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:55 pm

Get an LSAT.


It is infinitely better to go to Fordham PT at sticker than full time at sticker.

Given your goals as a lawyer though, attending Fordham is a very risky idea. You won't get a govt job and biglaw is a 25% outcome or so.



But none of this matters until you get an LSAT. Deciding what path you should take when law school is part of the equation almost always requires you have an LSAT and GPA.

Ti Malice
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby Ti Malice » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:20 pm


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mindarmed
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby mindarmed » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:29 pm

go to b school hth

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paglababa
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby paglababa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:32 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
paglababa wrote:I live in NYC and make 62k, so I'm in a similar position as you too. I'm a 0L so take my words as only that. But here are my thoughts:

Is money important to you? Do you like law? Would you be happy being a lawyer if you were starting off at a similar pay to what you would have had anyway? It sounds like you are equally happy not doing law work...

That being said, I do WANT to go to law school full time. My reasoning for this:

1. I'm tired of my industry and don't love my line of work.

2. I'm looking for big law. Anything else would not make the oppurtunity cost worth it. Thats 180k+ of salary missed out in three years, not to mention work experience, which would presumably mean you would be at higher position at the end of those three years.

3. You have to consider COA. Do you plan on paying for fordham? That's a lot of debt you will need years to repay. I'm looking to go to law school with substantial scholarship money or not at all (exception: HYS). AKA study for the lsat for months and months.

3. Don't know how parttime law school can help with #2. Might be good to look at stats of people who get employed from PT programs. If you're below 50% at fordham, my understanding is that you will have a tough time.



you are wrong about the money. just so you know. by the time you get pushed out of biglaw (this is almost guaranteed to happen), you will break even on your law school tuition. then your salary will go back to the standard corporate salary that you would have earned anyway at your current job in the next 5-10 years. biglaw just means you make 160-200k for 3-5 years and then get pushed out, and make 100-150k like everyone else. the extra money in your short time at biglaw (assuming you even get a biglaw job, which is already highly unlikely and even at the best schools only near a coin flip) will just go towards paying off your loan balance. if you are "tired of your industry" you will definitely be tired of law as well. nobody loves biglaw. seriously, if you have a good career in today's america and are young with little debt, going to law school is the worst thing you can do. HTH.

many of my friends out of college were making 60k when i went to law school. 3 years later, they all make six figures now and laugh at the thought of law school. don't throw a good thing away. the grass is not greener.


I agree with a lot of your points and think it's wise you put that out for anyone reading this thread. I did state that attending for me, personally, was contingent upon scholarship money. My ideal ideal goal would be to secure T14 with $$$ to negate the reliance on biglaw to repay debt, for the exact reasons you stated.

This way, if you can get biglaw, then great. If not, well atleast you're free to do something else without worry. As a 0L, I can't say I know what I'll be doing or how I will feel in the future. My current aspirations are to move to inhouse counsel after biglaw. (The GC at my current company, which isn't even a large or fortune 500 corporation, makes $225k and works 9-6). This aspiration can change by choice, or by circumstance.

Summary: OP is wise in his hesitation of quiting his job to make a career transition into law. I would disagree that his compromise, attending part time, is not the right choice, under the conditions he presented. This is because the COA of attending Fordham part time, is likely not to bring a ROI. This is why I suggest to OP that he needs to consider COA and his future employment options before dishing out $$$ for a part time program that may or may not let him go down the professional route he insists.

Get an LSAT. This will affect the $ factor in your decision, and hence, the risk factor involved. Then OP will be able to decide what to do!

RoaringMice
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Re: Making 60k/Part Time Law School

Postby RoaringMice » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:18 pm

I would also suggest that you prep for and take the LSAT, so to see where you stand in terms of a score. That'll give you a baseline in terms of what level of law school you're looking at, whether or not you might get any money from a school at the level you need the school to be at, and thus determine whether or not this path is even worth considering.

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TheThriller
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Re: Currently work 60k job/Part-Time Law School

Postby TheThriller » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:04 pm

you don't need 2 threads dude:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=213069




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